Hello Joe Joe, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but that RUMOR about the grocery store nonesense was made up years ago and it has been following us, repeated and repeated. It's been de-bunked in news articles by reporters and by county Sheriffs many times. It gets repeated by people who don't fact check. And I'm sure that neither you nor any readers of this column can find any grocery or store manager who can confirm nonsense like this. It's just another case of prejudice against people ya don't like.
The problem with the dogs left behind however is a REAL problem and we Rainbows (see my other longer post on this thread) have to deal with this better. But to use this genuine and complicated issue as a platform to call the 10,000 "worthless pieces of------," or any of the other nasty names that appear here just reflects badly on the vast majority of good Montanans who are open minded enough to see that there are going to be problems in any community, and that we need to work on the problems without condemning all the people who are part of all the solid community values that the Rainbow teaches and opens to everyone.
There's no excuse for people leaving their dogs behind. It's just awful. That said, there's also no excuse for Montana citizens to rant about the Rainbows with the awful language and insults that I read above.
I was at the Montana Gathering for 10 days with my two dogs. We carried doggie poo bags and picked up after our beloved critters. We saw just about every dog there being cared for with love and thoughtful kindness, well-fed and attended to as they should be. That doesn't justify anyone leaving a dog behind -- but there are obviously sides to this story. One is that there needs to be better doggie-watch at the Gatherings; and the other is not to blame all the 10,000 good people who come and do everything right for the few who mess up and are messed up. There are crimes of stupidity of ignorance and neglect committed in every American city everyday. Does that mean we should close down those towns? D'uh. No. Does that mean that as citizens we need to work to educate and inform and help those who don't have the common sense or ability to care for themselves or their pets? Yes, we do have that responsibility.
Also, yes, I and my family have jobs, pay taxes and spent plenty of our work-earned money in Montana on this trip to the Gathering. There's no question that Gathering dollars helped many small businesses in the Gathering area. We stayed three nights in Montana motels (traveling to and from the Gathering - just loved that hots springs resort!), ate at numerous restaurants, bought hundreds of dollars in supplies for the Gathering, bought souvenirs, tools, clothes, gasoline and frankly we were treated with excellence and kindness by all the Montanans we met.
So, just as readers here shouldn't judge all the Rainbows by the few jerks who don't treat their animals with decency, I won't judge Montanans as a group by the few jerks who posted foul-mouthed comments on this column.
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